Sunday, June 17, 2012
Father's Day 2012
“What is one of your favorite characteristics of your husband?”
This was the question posed to me in a group of friends the other day. As I struggled with the word, “characteristic”, I answered with the first thing that entered my mind. “His love for God is what I love most about him. The fact that everything he does flows out of that is what makes me love him.”
Thinking about the core of who my husband is and how this plays out in our lives brought tears to my eyes. And yet I wasn’t comfortable with the answer I gave. It seemed so “churchy”. Honestly, my husband’s love for God was what attracted me to him and what continues to stir the passion in my heart. But… how, specifically, does his love for God play out in our lives?
Immediately, a real life illustration came my way. Leaving my friend’s home, I walked out to the van and found my cell phone (which I confidently believed was with me the entire time) and my youngest’ blanket. How could I possibly have overlooked these items the same night I left him to care for our children plus one? Driving home, I listened to the voice mail he had left for me with feelings of guilt overwhelming my soul. Should the situation have been reversed, I knew full well what my response would have been. I walked into my house, apologized to my husband and was, not surprisingly, met with grace.
My husband always extends grace to me. Situation after situation where I screw up royally my husband is there to greet me with grace. This… this likeness of God… this is what I love about my man. It isn’t some pat answer that Christians are supposed to give about their husbands. It is simply the truth. I need a lot of grace and my husband is the rare gem who extends it. It’s one of the reasons our marriage is strong. He doesn’t respond the way our world (or his wife) would respond. He looks to Jesus’ example and follows it.
I have visuals of my own father sitting at the dining room table, reading his Bible on Sunday mornings. It’s an image I cherish as I choose to remember the Godliness my dad demonstrated. His smile… the songs he listened to… the way he and mom always held hands… his little sermons scripted specially for me… they are all tucked away inside my heart as comfort for my soul.
Someday, my girls will comfort their hearts with the image of their daddy sitting in his chair holding his Bible and praying. They will remember the many times he reads with them and prays with them. The Bible stories he so naturally works into everyday conversations will be cherished by them in the years to come. There will never be a question as to what their daddy values. It’s clear in his actions. As he pulls them up into his lap to wrap his arms around them, it will remind them of his love. The memories of daddy fixing their bikes, sitting in the back yard to watch them play in the sprinkler, along with the special night they stayed up late to catch fireflies and look through his telescope will store up to remind them there is no question of where they landed in his list of priorities. These are the actions of a Godly man.
Men who live for God will dress up like Santa because it matters to the kids. They will set aside time for trips to the zoo, Great America and other family trips because it matters today and in the future. Sundays are set aside to worship God because it sets an example for generations to come. But it is what happens in the home when no one else notices that truly matters. Those are the memories children recall. Sure, there will be bad memories that will have to be sifted through. We are all human and make mistakes. Overall, I am confident that my girls will have memory after memory that their daddy loves the one true God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength. There will be no question that he loves them and their mommy unconditionally. Like me, they will be able to talk about all the moments he extended grace to them which will naturally remind them of the way God extends grace to us and hopefully swell their hearts with love.
My husband is a man after God’s own heart. I don’t say this because it sounds good or it’s what I am expected to say. It’s the truth. Today I am reminded of one of God’s greatest blessing in my life. It is a day about him and expressing my gratitude for all he does. In our home, we have a long list of reasons to celebrate Father’s Day. I love that so many of them point us back to our Heavenly Father as well.What is it that you love about your husband?
“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1